Ever since the Green Bay Packers’ season ended, speculation around free agency has been wild. From JJ Watt to James White, dozens of names have been linked to the Packers. However, the Packers have a lot of work to do just to get under the salary cap. Earlier on Wednesday, GM Brian Gutekunst addressed the media regarding free agency.
What Gutekunst Said
The Packers are still $12 million over the $180 million salary cap floor. This makes the notion of going on a spending spree an improbable one. However, Gutekunst said that there could be a big move made, if it was the right move. “I do think if the right particular player is out there, and we think it’s the best thing for the Green Bay Packers, we’ll be able to do it. We won’t be able to do a lot… but if the right is there, I think we’d be able to do what we need to do.”
During his conference, Gutekunst also addressed the future of Preston Smith. Many fans speculated, even before the season ended, that Smith would be cut to save cap space. However, Gutekunst said that he expects Smith to be back with the team. No doubt, this will be a wildly unpopular move to most Packers’ fans. However, if Smith thrives under new defensive coordinator Joe Berry, it could be a great move.
What About Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley?
Of the Packers’ remaining in-house free agents, the most notable are Aaron Jones and Corey Linsley. The Packers offered Jones a contract during the season, but he turned it down, presumably desiring more guaranteed money. There is the idea that the Packers could franchise tag Jones, but it is unknown if the Packers will do that. If they do, they could risk Jones holding out.
Corey Linsley, a First-Team All Pro in 2020, likely will not be back. According to sources, his asking price is just too high for the Packers. Perhaps if COVID-19 had not affected revenue the way it did, the team might have been able to bring him back. As it stands, though, the Packers will need a new center in 2021.
If, by some chance, the Packers were able to bring both back in 2021, it would effectively end their free agency pursuits. Simply put, they would not be able to afford anyone else.